The Realism of Transcendence: A Critical Analysis of Hedwig Conrad-Martius’ Early Ontology

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This chapter focuses on the problem of transcendence in “On the Ontology and Doctrine of Appearance of the Real External World” (HCM, 1916) (Doctrine of Appearance)—the first publication from a vast corpus of writings by Hedwig Conrad-Martius (1888–1966) (HCM). The principles of the realistic phenomenology that HCM explores in this treatise by studying the phenomenon of the real external world designate her early ontology upon which her later metaphysical worldview would be based. Her establishing argument associates transcendence with mundane reality while eliminating any mystical aspect from it. Although the ontological aspect of the problem of transcendence is more dominant in HCM’s approach, its epistemological dimensions are not denied but illuminated through her discussion of the nature of the human spirit in the face of which the world appears as external. My main argument is that HCM’s phenomenology of externality lays the foundations for the phenomenology of transcendence. Consequently, transcendence transpires as the depth and the most ultimate meaning not only of external phenomena but also of reality as such.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameWomen in the History of Philosophy and Sciences
ISSN (Print)2523-8760
ISSN (Electronic)2523-8779

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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